zombie crashZombies vs. Critical Mass cyclists.Courtesy chasingfun via FlickrThe real problem with pedestrian/automobile safety  isn’t the multi-ton vehicles; the real problem is oblivious walkers with MP3 players.

Or “iPod zombies,” according to the British Automobile Association, a car-insurance provider:

The AA said mobile phone owners using their devices while crossing roads, for example checking emails on their handset or studying online maps, were … guilty of not paying attention to the traffic around them.

The AA’s comments are backed up by a recent study by the Pew Research Centre which revealed 17 percent of adults have bumped into another person or object because they were distracted by talking or texting on a mobile phone.

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It’s true — I saw a 17-walker pileup just this morning on the way to work. Twisted limbs, spilled lattes, tangled earbud cords. It was horrific.

Back on this side of the pond, New York City today released a treasure trove of analysis on 7,000 pedestrian-car crashes between 2002 and 2006 — and it doesn’t blame them all on ambling cell-phone users. The report upends some old stereotypes about collisions — for instance, taxis and jaywalkers were involved in fewer crashes than you might expect. And men were behind the wheel in 80 percent of accidents that resulted in death or serious injury of a pedestrian. The New York Times has more.


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